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Chateau Ste. Michelle's new visitor center/tasting room

Make it your own

In early September, Chateau Ste. Michelle unveiled their new visitor center in Woodinville and it is something to behold. It's now more than a tasting room, it's really an experience, one that you can create for yourself. Guests can learn about Chateau Ste. Michelle's (CSM) heritage, get a behind-the-scenes look at bottling, and learn about the Columbia Valley and why it's such a great place to grow grapes.

Tasting room, photo courtesy of Chateau Ste. Michelle

Nearly 23,000 square feet has been dedicated to the fun you can have at the winery. There are private tasting salons, tours, a theatre, and an incredibly fun experience where you blend your own wine. It's great to do with friends but is also a really interesting team building event.

The Interactive Blending Room (class photo below) is not inexpensive, with prices starting at $125 per person. If you're interested in wine, it's really a must-do at some point. You start out mixing five different wines (and they're excellent wines to begin with, so how wrong can you go?) until you get to a blend you think you like. Taste, refine, get it perfect. Once you have it right for you, mix a larger amount, put it into a 750 ml bottle, create a custom label and you're ready to take it home and enjoy.

The tasting bar does have a cost (currently $10), and you can taste select wines from their large portfolio, some available only at the winery. There are cheeses and other supplies to purchase for a relaxing picnic on the grounds.

CSM has a partnership with Tuscany's Marchese Antinori and it is explored in 45-minute appointments (currently $20) in the Col Solare Bottega - A Taste of Red Mountain. An Eroica-themed tasting salon features ancient wine artifacts from CSM's Eroica partner Ernst Loosen's collection.

In the private tasting salons, CSM hosts a variety of tastings, wine and culinary classes, guest speakers. Their website should list upcoming classes, so you can pick the ones that excite you most. Their restaurant-style kitchen has been totally updated and is used to create amazing meals and pairings.

For those of you who are wine club members, you already know there is a Vintage Reserve Club lounge dedicated to you.

Celebrating its 50th year, the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates company is a powerhouse in the industry. They consider themselves the "string" on which amazing "pearls" of wineries sit, starting with Chateau Ste. Michelle. Rather than purchasing wineries and running them their way, they develop or acquire properties and support them with administrative and financial services, allowing decisions to be made on site by those who know the site and grapes best. Their portfolio includes wineries like 14 Hands, Northstar, Erath, Snoqualmie, Stimson and many more in the Pacific Northwest, as well as California wineries like Patz & Hall, Stag's Leap, Villa Mt. Eden. Partnerships include Antica (Napa Valley), Santa Cristina (Tuscany), Miguel Torres (Chile), Palmes d'Or (Champagne), Villa Maria (New Zealand).

Red wine pairing

There's a world of wine to explore at Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Chateau Ste. Michelle
14111 NE 145th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072
(425) 488-1133

www.ste-michelle.com


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